Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe declared the one-month long state emergency amid coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus pandemic is spreading rapidly in the cities of Japan. Prime Minister Abe, on Monday, met with ministers Nishimura Yasutoshi in charge of coronavirus measures and the chairman of the government advisory committee, Omi Shigeru to discuss how to deal with the crisis.

In the Tuesday declaration, the emergency will cover the populated areas of Japan- Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa; and Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka to the west.


On what basis the emergency can be declared under Japanese law?

According to the law of Japan, the emergency can be declared by the Prime Minister in two conditions-

The first condition is that- the situation should indicate the threat to the lives and health of the people.

The second condition is that- the situation is causing severe damage to the economic growth of the country as well as harming the livelihoods of the public.

What are the rights of the Prime Minister during an emergency?

The Prime Minister has all the right to decide, cities for emergency and can also decide the duration of the emergency. The Prime Minister will ask the governors of the designated area to tell the residents to stay at home except for essential activities. The governors will also request the closure of schools and will also restrict the facilities of large social gatherings.

What is the duration of the emergency in Japan?

Sources tell that initially, the government was about to declare the emergency for the next 6 months. But later on, Prime Minister Abe declared a month emergency until May 6.

How the emergency of Japan is different from other countries?

Unlike other countries such as the UK and France, the government of Japan cannot punish those who do not obey the government order. They cannot order to close the shops, force workers to stay at home or shut down public transport. The government’s power to control the population in the Japanese constitution is quite limited. The constitution guarantees freedom of association and assembly.

However, the government has the right to use the land and buildings without asking the consent of the owner to set up the temporary medical facilities, in the situation of reaching the capacity of the hospitals.

How emergency will take place in Tokyo?

On Friday, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko released the steps that the city government will take to implement the emergency. The governors will ask the residents to stay indoors and request the daily public facilities to be shut. Governor also said that specific requests will also be decided after the release of central government guidelines.

The governor also added that the shops of essential needs like food and medicines will remain open along with the banks, stock exchange, and other social and economic services.Call centers will be set up to respond to the inquiries and for the residents and business owner concerns.

Why emergency declared now?

Prime Minister Abe said that the state is still not yet in a situation to declare the emergency. The government’s decision was based on daily infection and economic damages. Over the past two weeks, two people asked him to reach a decision.

First Tokyo governor Koike, on Tuesday, met Abe and asked him to make a decision. And on Wednesday, Japan Medical Association, President Yokokura Yoshitake, warns about the situation of hospitals treating coronavirus. He also said that treatment of cornavirus in hospitals is already equal to the crisis. Also informed that there is a shortage of medical supplies and beds. He requested him to decide its too late.

The governors of some prefectures like Tokyo and Osaka have already following a kind of lockdown. The residents asked to not to step out unnecessarily without any urgent situations. The emergency will not be a sudden big change for them. As of now, there will be no legal binding.

What is the current situation in Japan?

The total number of coronavirus patients in Japan hits 6000 on Saturday. The coronavirus pandemic is creating an extremely high level of uncertainty for the world’s third-largest economy.